The prayer meeting went well. My sermon was a difficult one. I felt like a doctor before doing surgery. The case was not easy and I did not know what to expect. I needed the wisdom, strength, compassion, patience and love of the Holy Spirit. The congregation was ‘flowing’ with the Spirit. There was a desire to worship God, a longing to thank Him for all things he has done for us. It is possible to pretend thanksgiving. But tonight it was real and deep. The hearts became tender in the hands of the Potter. Then the message followed…
“Walk prudently when you go to the house of God; and draw near to hear rather than to give the sacrifice of fools, for they do not know that they do evil.
Do not be rash with your mouth,
And let not your heart utter anything hastily before God.
For God is in heaven, and you on earth;
Therefore let your words be few.
For a dream comes through much activity,
And a fool’s voice is known by his many words” (Ecc 5:1-3)
This is a true saying: God gives visions and dreams to men on earth. All these shall come to pass. But a word of caution is needed here. The church attracts men who manufacture dreams for themselves expecting God to fulfill them. Their dreams seem good and they claim God is their source. But then something is wrong. After years of waiting for any manifestation, with many prayers and prophetic utterances following, their dreams become a barren land, just a pet fantasy. These dreamers love to make vows to God promising great things. Later they ignore all those great promises. These vows and the emptiness of their lives hunt them later. These men become disappointed, angry and bitter with God who refuses to be manipulated and fulfill their secret ambitions for fame and wealth, all wrapped in lofty man-made dreams. The church environment in particular attracts this type of religious spirits. That is why we need to be sure that the dreams planted in our hearts are truly of God!
We generally take it for granted that it is a good thing to invite men to church. We reason that if they hear the Word of God they shall change and become spiritual. Indeed, it is a good thing to invite men to the presence of God who alone can change hearts. But in the passage above we see that there is a warning in coming to God with a wrong attitude. The danger is to practice a superficial religion, having no desire to repent of it, lacking the fear of God and still insisting to come into His presence. God knows the hearts of all men. Not all prayers are acceptable to Him. Not all worship is pleasing to Him.
What then are the signs of trouble, warning that God may be ‘angry’ with you in the church?
*A rash mouth
This is a religious man who talks too much. He does not worship God while he is praying or making requests from Him. This man does not think before he talks, prophesies or makes vows to God. His mouth leads his body. He is loud, proud and foolish. He wants others to hear his prayers and vows, to gain their admiration. He has no interest in fulfilling his vows for he does not fear God. He will be greatly surprised that God expects that vows done in His name should be paid without delay.
*A hasty heart
This man is too impatient and easily moved. The ‘anointing’ in a service will make him say things that he will regret later. He is not prepared to meet with God. He is too emotional and his flesh rules his decisions. He makes vows and later regrets them. He does not fear God.
It is a strange sight to see a religious fool. The presence of God should make men wiser and better. But some never change. Their worship and ministry is called ‘the sacrifice of fools’. God does not accept their labor and prayers. They come to church for many years but still, they do not even know that they do ‘evil’. Their ignorance of God is a shame and a rebuke!
I Christ I declare:
I am a child of God!
I repent for talking too much, when addressing God or men!
I repent of impatience and foolishness!
I separate from the evil spirit of religion!
I give all the glory to God!
In Jesus name,